It was with little surprise that we found out this week that Peter Strzok had been fired from the FBI. Indeed, the only surprise was that it didn’t happen a long time ago. Strzok left the DOJ’s Inspector General with a long, digital paper trail of political bias demonstrating his hatred for Donald Trump and his preference for Hillary Clinton. If he’d been pursuing the Manhattan Mangler or some random case of bank fraud in the Midwest, his text messages with Lisa Page might not have been all that interesting. But since he was the lead investigator on cases involving both Clinton AND Trump, his private messages were unacceptable and worthy of immediate dismissal. That the FBI took this long to sever his employment is itself a disgrace.
Even so, there was something strange about the sudden decision to fire Strzok. The most damning of his text messages have been in evidence for months. The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended he be disciplined for his actions, but they only suggested he suffer a suspension and a demotion. None of this explains why FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich took it upon himself to overrule that recommendation and send Strzok to the unemployment line (or GoFundMe, as the case may be). Did he know something about Strzok’s misconduct that has remained shielded thus far from the American public?
According to investigative journalist Sara Carter, the answer to that question may very well be yes. She spoke to a former special agent with ties to the Office of Professional Responsibility. He said that while the text messages were undoubtedly enough to recommend Strzok for termination, they didn’t comprise the totality of the FBI agent’s malfeasance.
“There is absolutely no wiggle room when it comes to lack of candor in the FBI,” the former agent told Carter. “Strzok’s firing went well beyond texting about Trump. Strzok would have also been involved in the handling of the FISA application to the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court).”
The former agent concluded that Strzok was “well aware that he was lying by deception when they did not include the information on who paid for the dossier and that Bruce Ohr was back-channeling information for a discredited source.”
If this did play a part in influencing Bowdich’s decision to fire Strzok, it could mean we are finally seeing the Bureau clean-up we’ve been waiting for. It would also indicate that there are senior officials in the FBI (and possibly the Department of Justice) who know the Obama administration tried to get one over on the FISA court with that phony piece of opposition research known as the dossier. And if that’s the case, then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose signature is on at least one of those FISA applications, may not be long for his job.
Perhaps he can ask his buddy Strzok to help him set up an online donation fund.